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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

E3: Gaming convention cancels in-person event due to Covid


Major video game convention E3 will not be held as an in-person event in LA in June 2022, for the third year in a row.

The decision was due to health risks surrounding Covid-19 and the “safety of exhibitors and attendees”, said organisers the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

Since 1995, E3 has brought together the entire video game industry to help build anticipation for upcoming releases.

It allows the world’s top game developers to showcase their work.

Last year’s event was held digitally, with participation from game companies such as Nintendo, Xbox, Konami, and Ubisoft, and fans had access to online showcases, trailers, and preview material.

The ESA added that they “remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon,” but no mention of a digital event being held this year was made.

Games journalists, YouTubers, and fans have descended on the convention to get a first look at what’s to come.

That coverage, as well as the subsequent online debate, has played a significant role in determining which new titles and technologies go on to be critical and financial successes. It was the first time the Nintendo Wii was seen, the PlayStation 4 was announced, and classic games like Halo 2 were previewed.

The cancellation of this year’s in-person event comes much sooner than the decisions to cancel events in 2020 and 2021, and some are now concerned about the convention’s future.

Its influence has begun to wane in recent years, as major gaming companies such as Electronic Arts and PlayStation have decided not to attend and instead hold their own separate events. The lack of an in-person convention represents a missed opportunity for E3 to maintain its relevance.

Some argue that because game developers and publishers are now in almost constant contact with players all over the world via social media, streaming sites, and YouTube, there is no longer a need for a convention like the E3 of old.

However, organisers will be hoping that the convention’s reputation over the decades, as well as the fact that it is seen as an aspirational event for many in the industry to attend, will be enough to entice it to return in the future.

Because of E3, the month of June has become synonymous with a slew of announcements in the gaming world; however, it’s unclear whether this will continue in 2022 and beyond.

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